DE Parker returns to practice
Defensive end Juqua Parker returned to practice Friday and likely will play Sunday night when the Philadelphia Eagles host the New York Giants for first place in the NFC East.
And that's just what Parker does: come to play every Sunday.
This week will mark his 96th straight game, the third-longest active streak among all defensive linemen. He's never missed a game since signing with the Eagles as a free agent in the summer of 2005.
''You have to show up every week,'' Parker said. ''That's what we do. I mean, you have to be out there. You never know what might happen if you miss a game.''
Injuries have not stopped players from losing their spots in the lineup for the Eagles this year. Just ask Kevin Kolb, or Ellis Hobbs, or Brodrick Bunkley. All were starters, all got hurt, and all watched backups perform well enough to keep the job.
Parker has been through the same routine since he became the starter at left defensive end midway through the 2006 season. Every year the team either signs or drafts a defensive end to take his place, and before long Parker is back as the starter.
This year it was first-round draft pick Brandon Graham who actually started the first three games of the season. But by Week 4 Parker was back in the opening lineup and Graham was back in the rotation.
''You just stay focused,'' Parker said. ''I can't worry about who they bring in, who they draft, who they sign. They're going to do it anyway, so why worry? I just have to go out and do what I do.''
What Parker has done since arriving from Tennessee is become a consistent pass rusher and also gotten better against the run. He has five sacks in nine games this season, marking the fifth straight year he's had at least five sacks.
''I want to hit 10 this year,'' he said. ''I had (a career-high) eight last year, so I'd like to hit that double digit mark this year. That would be nice.''
Would it stop the Eagles from bringing in someone to take his place?
''No, that's not going to happen,'' Parker said. ''But that's OK. I'm good with it.''
Parker suffered a hip injury in the win over Washington last Monday and didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday. He was back out there Friday and is ready to go.
''He'll be there when the game starts,'' Eagles coach Andy Reid said. ''He was moving around pretty good out there.''
And he'll be doing the same thing Sunday.
Notes: It appears Nick Cole will start at right guard over Max Jean-Gilles on Sunday night. Cole, who has been bothered by a knee injury from training camp, has started four games this year, while Jean-Gilles has started five. ''There's a pretty good chance it will be Nick,'' Reid said. ''Nick played well against Washington. That's nothing against Max. I kind of look at Nick and Max as the same guy.''